Thursday, August 25, 2016

Am I Doing It Wrong?

I have been asking myself this question a lot these last 6 days.

This is why...
1. I have left school by 4 (or 4:30 when I had a staff meeting) all week long.
2. I'm not falling asleep at 6:30 each night.
3. I do not feel panicked about school.

Sure, there is more that I could do.

Sure, I'm tired, but I can still watch some tv and talk to my family after supper.

Sure, I think about school a lot.

But, I'm not wearing "freak out" pants this year. I feel calm on the inside, which is a good thing. 

And as I left today, I saw my student. We smiled, we waved, I said "see you tomorrow" and kept walking. Three seconds later I heard the sweet voice (and I knew who the voice belonged to!!!) "bye Mrs. Bartel." So wonderful. We have been together for a mere 7 half days and I already feel like I know the kids (just a tiny bit about the academics, but so much more).

I think this is going to be my Best Year Yet!
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My 17th First Day

The excitement was the same. But the nerves were different.

So many good things happened today. I am thankful for so much.

1. 21 wonderful Kinder Kids (I finally have a name for them!!!)

2. A donated mini trampoline for my classroom.

3. $25 gift card for my classroom.

4. Nobody cried today (me included).

5, Leaves for my tree from a good friend.

6. Smiles and support from my tribe, BTPSM (best teaching partner soul mate), and my school.

7. Kinder Kids Parents that are kind, friendly and eager to know me.

This is going to be the best year yet!
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Saturday, August 13, 2016

And My Journey Continues

My journey began at my birth, I was living it.

My journey shifted when I started college, and again when I had my first child.

My journey is mine. I love every peak and valley, because I learn there. And each bit I learn gets me ready for the next part.

Conscious Discipline has been an influencer in the way I see my own children (and the ones I see at school). I'm thankful for the friends that have been a guide and showed me a different way.

Background knowledge is critical in learning something new. Because I have these rungs of information and years of practice I am able to grasp on to other, maybe "out there" ways of thinking.

School is an academic environment. Obvious, right? But what if the students can't learn the way I teach? That's when I employ "differentiation." But what if the student still struggles, and it goes deeper? What if the struggle is related to stress in his life. Can I differentiate for that as well?

Stress. I have to recognize my own stress, and deal with it (appropriately, thanks Conscious Discipline). And then I can begin to recognize it in my students and teach them ways to deal with it (thanks Conscious Discipline). 

But what if the stress is bigger than that. Toxic Stress? How will I help? How will I even understand it?

As part of professional development yesterday, we watched Paper Tigers. Sure, it was a documentary of a high school in Washington state, but there are so many applications for me (in kindergarten in the middle of Kansas).

*constant stress=inability to learn because of continued fight/flight response of living in the brain stem
*drugs and behaviors are possibly used to cover up the feelings, because feelings are scary and difficult to process
*look deeper, not at the behavior, but the something that is causing the behavior
*avoid judging the outward behavior, show compassion, show a different way to express feelings

I am so excited to continue this journey, my journey, to be the teacher for others that I would wish for my own children.
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